Hebron Shooter Azaria Starts Prison Sentence for Manslaughter

Gili Cohen
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Elor Azaria, smiling in the center of the picture wearing a white T-shirt with blue writing, being embraced by supporter wearing a white T-shirt with Azaria's picture on it. A Channel 2 TV correspondent who we cannot see is holding a mic to Azaria's face.
Elor Azaria, ahead of setting off for prison on Wednesday morning, to start his sentence.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Gili Cohen

Elor Azaria went to prison on Wednesday morning to begin his 18-month sentence for manslaughter. He entered Prison 4 almost a year and a half after shooting and killing a subdued Palestinian attacker.

Azaria, commonly known as the "Hebron shooter," was taken to the prison at Tzrifin army base after the Military Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected his request to delay starting his prison term until the chief of staff rules on his request for clemency.

In a show of support, dozens of supporters converged on the Azaria household Wednesday morning. His parents, girlfriend and his legal counsel, Yoram Sheftel, accompanied him on the trip to the prison.

Azaria, an army medic, has been discharged from service, but since the prison is a military one, he will be receiving a uniform and be subject to the same conditions as the incarcerated soldiers.

Under the army's rules, the family can visit soldiers in prison once every two weeks, 10 days after the start of their sentence.

Earlier, military sources said that Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot wouldn’t even consider a clemency request unless Azaria actually entered prison and also expressed remorse for killing Abdel Fattah Al-Sharif. To date, Azaria has never expressed any such regret, neither during the legal proceedings against him nor in his clemency request.

On March 24, 2016, Al-Sharif stabbed an Israeli soldier. Azaria shot him in the head after he had been subdued and was lying on the ground. Azaria subsequently claimed he believed Al-Sharif to be wearing explosives on his body, an argument the courts rejected.